The Wines of Colorado is a cozy creekside restaurant and wine shop with a tasting room at the base of the Pikes Peak Highway. For many years, this small building was a 7-Eleven. When it closed, local entrepreneurs tried a t-shirt shop and other business ideas, but nothing worked until Marv Parliament moved in. Parliament opened Wines of Colorado 15 years ago, and as his dream took shape, his business took off. Today Wines of Colorado is a locals’ favorite and during the tourist season, its regulars compete for tables with out-of-staters stopping on their trips to the Pikes Peak Highway or points west of the mountain. Parliament wanted a burger place, and he created two of his most popular menu items – a buffalo wine burger and a ground chuck wine burger – a feast of a sandwich served with grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms and roasted green chiles. But this is more than a burger shop. The tasting room is crammed with wine-related merchandise and features nearly 100 Colorado wines, more than any other place in the state.
What makes it great:
Thinking about this restaurant’s signature sandwich – a char-grilled burger smothered with grilled onions, roasted green chiles and sautéed mushrooms – could keep you going on even the most hard-core hike or bike ride on Pikes Peak. This small restaurant in Cascade at the foot of the Pikes Peak Highway is just part of the appeal here. The wine tasting room is a popular spot for locals and tourists, and a retail shop specializes in Colorado wines and wine-themed gifts. The menu is small but thoughtful, with appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches, along with entrees from buffalo lasagna to raspberry chipotle chicken, served with Swiss cheese, wild rice and vegetables on a bed of baby spinach. Wine suggestions are offered with each item on the menu.
Who will love it:
Wine lovers and burger aficionados are drawn here. Wines here are from the thriving Colorado wine industry, with many coming from the Western Slope. The Colorado theme continues, with homemade buffalo lasagna and Marv’s buffalo chili. There are thoughtful additions for people with dietary restrictions, with several vegetarian offerings as well as gluten-free entrees such as pan-seared trout almandine. For winter dining, the restaurant offers hot spiced wines. The restaurant’s dining room is small, and in the summer and fall, a patio is opened at back, offering multi-layer dining next to Fountain Creek. This can be an idyllic spot to relax in the shade of aspen and willows.
Directions, fees and regulations:
From Colorado Springs, take U.S. Highway 24 west to Cascade. Turn left at the sign for the Pikes Peak Highway. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., May through September, and 10:30 a.m. to 8 pm., October through April. The tasting room offers free tasting, and wine may be purchased by the bottle or glass inside the restaurant, or by the bottle to go.
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